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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

From Haringey Council website

Better space and facilities for local people could be at the centre of Haringey Council proposals to transform a deteriorating Harringay building into a vibrant arts and culture community hub.

The council wants to improve facilities for voluntary and community groups at the Chestnuts Community Centre in St Ann’s Road and encourage more residents to get involved in local activities.

Consultation with regular users of the building on what improvements they would like to see in any refurbishment will begin in early December.

The centre, parts of which are in a poor condition, will temporarily close at the end of the year to enable the council to undertake a building survey and ensure any necessary repair work is carried out.

Councillor Jason Arthur, Cabinet Member for Resources and Culture, said:

“We know that local people and voluntary groups value having high-quality space for clubs, activities and meetings, and we support their ambitions.

“We want to hear from those who use the centre on how we can improve it to create a modern hub with first-class facilities and expanded opportunities at the heart of the community.”

The council will work closely with regular users of the centre to find alternative locations while the survey and work are carried out.

For more information on the project and the support on offer, please contact the council’s Community Buildings team on chestnutsyoursay@haringey.gov.uk

Photo by Alan Stanton on Flickr - click to view on Flickr

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Hi all,
I'm interested in getting involved with the future of this amazing facility, as I think it has great potential. It's clear that the current management and Haringey Council have some pretty big issues with each other - on which I am not passing judgement as I know very little about what has happened. From a quick conversation with Jennifer Lane today though it seems pretty clear that the Council are not about to back down and that the centre will be run by a new group.

She mentioned that there will be a consultation event run by the Council, and when she lets me know the details I'll post it on here.

I'm a little unclear currently who all of the groups currently involved are, but would welcome anyone with more information getting in touch. I would especially like to hear from any groups planning to enter the tendering process. I am a freelance fundraiser and charity consultant - although not looking for work here - looking to volunteer my time to make sure this amazing space gets properly utilised and benefits our community.

I'll go along to the current advertised event on the 13th, although I'm not really sure what the purpose is - beyond the hope of getting the Council to change their mind about taking the keys back, which seems unlikely at this point.

If the current management wanted to stick it out and did not hand the keys back on 31st December it would create a lot of publicity while the Council went through a process leading to eviction, with national newspapers and TV crews attending. The only extra penalty would be, according to the attached notice, £77.53 per day.


It's interesting that they say they want to use Chestnuts for Council activities (and spare some dregs of space for 'the community').  Could this be linked to the closure of Apex House at Seven Sisters, the council services site that has been sold to Grainger for 'regeneration' for £3.8million (a fraction of its value)?  Because it remains unclear where the staff and services will go, they say 'Tottenham Green' but where? In a corner of the library?  So if they can split off some of the Apex House services to Chestnuts, that would cover some of the holes in their removal plan. Is there more info about what exactly they plan to install at Chestnuts?    

As I understand it (and I may be proven wrong) the Council are keen to put this out to tender and will not be running it themselves. The centre will however remain in community usage and no bid for any other use would be entertained. What of course represents community usage and what the biggest needs of the local community is are thing that are always up for discussion.

Like the Burglars' Community, and the Drivers' Community? 

I've just had an email from LBH to say that the council's consultation website about Chestnuts Community Centre is now open, and they will be taking comments until 26th  January 2015. http://www.haringey.gov.uk/chestnutsyoursay .  LBH are also holding consultation sessions in the Centre, including one tomorrow, Wed 10 Dec 10am - 1pm. LBH  have also appointed an interim provider, Bridge Renewal Trust, and plan to keep the centre open, see LBH press statement http://www.haringey.gov.uk/index/news_and_events/latest_news/have-y...

As I've already posted in this thread, Chestnuts People, the users and supporters group, are holding their own consultation event this Saturday 13 Dec 11 - 4pm followed by food and party. I'm planning to go tomorrow and on Saturday, and to respond via the LBH website. 

Be careful of The Bridge, let's have a look at who's on their committee these days. They have succeeded the Bridge New Deal, who were the ones who did the stitch-up with Grainger re Wards Corner where no-one can find the minutes about how they gave Grainger a £1.5million sweetener.

Yep, lots of familiar names.

That's also the same lot who's promoting homeopathy at the Laurels, isn't it? Makes me extremely uncomfortable, that does.

Hi Ceri

I attended the first consultation meeting and it was a lively event and there was a lot of clarification taking place and a great deal of goodwill. I will be going to the event on Saturday. See you there and others who are passionate that Chestnuts remains a community and community arts resource and reaches its vibrant potential in the fullest sense. Jackiex 

Please do all feed in your views to the Council, and attend this Saturday if you can! Chestnuts people need as many local people with a range of skills involved as possible. We have a real opportunity here to have our voices heard and create an amazing facility for local people for the future.

This in today from the Bridge Renewal Trust (Attached at end of post as pdf):




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